IPA Matching Opportunity & new Dean Karlan Book

IPA Matching Opportunity & new Dean Karlan Book

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New book by Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel: Failing in the Field

At IPA, we believe we can all learn a lot from what has not worked as well as from what has. We are constantly learning from our own failures and improving our methods for collecting data in the field. We believe it is important to be transparent when plans go awry, and that sharing our failures with others is a public good, improving the likelihood that others will succeed in the complicated task of conducting high quality research in challenging, and often unpredictable, settings.

In Failing in the Field, IPA President & Founder Dean Karlan and former IPA research associate Jacob Appel delve into the common causes of failure in field research so that researchers and decision-makers might avoid similar pitfalls in future work. Drawing in part on IPA’s experiences implementing research in developing countries, this book delves into failed studies and helps guide practitioners as they embark on their research.

From experimental design and implementation to analysis and partnership agreements, Karlan and Appel show that we can learn important lessons from failures at every stage. They describe five common categories of failures, review six case studies in detail, and conclude with some reflections on best (and worst) practices for designing and running field projects, with an emphasis on randomized controlled trials.

Cracking open the taboo subject of the stumbles that can take place in the implementation of research studies, Failing in the Field is a valuable “how-not-to” handbook for conducting fieldwork and running randomized controlled trials in development settings.

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Innovations for Poverty Action

IPA is a recommended charity of The Life You Can Save. IPA's mission is to discover and promote effective and sustainable solutions to global poverty. IPA uses rigorous, evidence-backed techniques to develop, test, and appropriately scale solutions to some of the most challenging problems faced by the world's extreme poor.

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The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.